5 Steps for Writing Really Excellent Back Cover Copy

Writing excellent back cover copy doesn’t happen by accident. Using a formula of sorts can help you.

There are five parts to really excellent back cover copy (plus one extra for cozy mysteries).

1. Hook them early.

This is not your series theme. This is a one or two sentence hook about your story to grab readers’ attention. (With a cozy mystery, it often involves a pun connected to the theme.)

2. Introduce the protagonist.

Who is the protagonist/amateur sleuth who will carry the story? Give his/her name and the life conflict he/she faces at the beginning of the series.

3. Show what his/her future could hold.

Her chance for success or happiness is within reach in her new world.

4. Introduce the conflict.

Show the disruption of the protagonist’s new life with a murder in her world or with the major conflict. 

5. Give the stakes.

What happens if the protagonist doesn’t solve the crime or if the conflict is not resolved?

6. Make it punny (if you’re writing a cozy mystery).

Make sure there are puns and/or figurative language connecting the copy to series hook (theme).

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